17 November 2010


Baz Luhrmann has cast Carey Mulligan in the role of Daisy Buchanan in his remake of The Great Gatsby. Leonardo DiCaprio has already signed on as Jay Gatsby and Tobey Maguire will play Nick Carraway."He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel, which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many-colored disarray. While we admired he brought more and the soft rich heap mounted higher — shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and lavender and faint orange, and monograms of Indian blue. Suddenly, with a strained sound, Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily.

“They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such — such beautiful shirts before.” " - F Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby


  1. that is decidedly one of my fave passages. the other one is this:

    The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house. I must have stood for a few moments listening to the whip and snap of the curtains and the groan of a picture on the wall. Then there was a boom as Tom Buchanan shut the rear windows and the caught wind died out about the room, and the curtains and the rugs and the two young women ballooned slowly to the floor.

    such graceful & air-borne writing isn't it. no wonder even someone as competitive & sparing with praises for other writers as Hemingway had to concede & compare Fitzgerald to a butterfly in The Moveable Feast.

    ps: isn't DiCaprio a tad too old to play Gatsby?

  2. Dear Erudite Anon: There is yet another - I can't find it now - about Daisy having a crying fit in her bath, something about a letter, a pearl necklace and then swiftly getting married. Papa Hemingway isn't generous to a fault, I must say. Even his strangely worded praise for Fitzgerald in TMF is laced with backhanded insults.
    As for Leo - you do mean he's a trifle grizzled don't you? Hollywood needs to find a beautiful blonde leading man...

  3. Mia so owned the role i can't see carey in it. Beauty

  4. i'm teaching it next year! TK.

  5. Dear Beauty: Just be very grateful that Baz Luhrmen didn't cast Nicole (his fave) as Daisy! I'm sure the thought crossed his mind. Dear TK: One of my favourite 'american' books, if you know what i mean?

  6. what an ice-cold bath & a few good sniffs of the spirit of ammonia can do for a girl, even a very drunk one:

    I was bridesmaid. I came into her room half an hour before the bridal dinner, and found her lying on her bed as lovely as the June night in her flowered dress — and as drunk as a monkey. she had a bottle of Sauterne in one hand and a letter in the other.

    “‘Gratulate me,” she muttered. “Never had a drink before, but oh how I do enjoy it.”

    “What’s the matter, Daisy?”

    I was scared, I can tell you; I’d never seen a girl like that before.

    “Here, deares’.” She groped around in a waste-basket she had with her on the bed and pulled out the string of pearls. “Take ’em down-stairs and give ’em back to whoever they belong to. Tell ’em all Daisy’s change’ her mine. Say: ‘Daisy’s change’ her mine!’.”

    She began to cry — she cried and cried. I rushed out and found her mother’s maid, and we locked the door and got her into a cold bath. She wouldn’t let go of the letter. She took it into the tub with her and squeezed it up into a wet ball, and only let me leave it in the soap-dish when she saw that it was coming to pieces like snow.

    But she didn’t say another word. We gave her spirits of ammonia and put ice on her forehead and hooked her back into her dress, and half an hour later, when we walked out of the room, the pearls were around her neck and the incident was over. Next day at five o’clock she married Tom Buchanan without so much as a shiver, and started off on a three months’ trip to the South Seas.

  7. Dear Erudite Anon: Thanks for finding this passage! Exactly it - almost a short story in itself. From cold bath to south seas in two paragraphs. Delicious, and very fast.

  8. you're welcome & we should all give thanks to the all-mighty god Google. :)

    and yes it's very fast - and it rather reveals what a heartless girl Daisy really is, the speed with which she can get past the letter and not let it stand in her way & the wedding. Daisy is not at all the innocent damsel-in-distress that she is so often mistaken to be.

    chills - deeply unpleasant ones - always run down my spine whenever i read the scene where she & her husband Tom were having a cold supper & plotting together in the kitchen shortly after the car accident, while Gatsby was vainly standing guard outside on the driveway. Daisy & Tom Buchanan really are birds of a feather & truly deserve one another.

    which makes Gatsby's death so much more self-delusional, and thus more tragic, in the end.

  9. Dear Erudite Anon: Yes, thank god google indeed! How did we manage to get anything done back in the day?